Posts Tagged ‘art’

Wisdom in Pencil Shavings

03/08/2018
colored pencil shavings

The main character in this story


On this hot NYC summer day, I’m recalling a time earlier this year when winter was dragging its feet and holding spring hostage. People started to wonder if they had unknowingly fallen asleep, missed summer and woke up in winter again. As you might imagine, after months of cold, wet and dreariness, a person’s spirits need a good lift – especially when the snow starts falling from the sky when the calendar clearly says it’s time for spring… The good news is that this type of heaviness can be countered by pure nourishment, which I personally find in arts and crafts. Sketching, making a collage, even coloring – these all transport me back to childhood when we did things purely for exploration and play.

On one of these long winter nights, I rolled out my yoga mat to set up my arts and craft station. (Yes, I use my mat for practicing poses and crafting – it’s all yoga to me.) I pulled out my pencil sharpeners and emptied them out on the hardwood floor. As I looked down at this dusty little pile, it occurred to me that these messy, colorful shavings looked pretty cool sitting there. At that moment I decided I could probably transform this perceived pile of junk into something fun so I gathered some rubber glue and a piece of durable black construction paper then began to slather rubber glue across the page while sprinkling the spirals of shavings all over. One harvest wasn’t enough to complete the project so I would need to carve all of my pencils to an articulate, sharp point. As I continued to sharpen and glue layers of colored pencil dust to the page, I had a couple of thoughts about creativity and nourishment:

  • This thing that I made isn’t really a good piece of art at all – not in a consumer sense, anyway. But, what’s affirming about the process is simply the joy and lightness of creativity. The result doesn’t always need to become a money maker nor does anyone even need to see it. Something can be made strictly for nourishment – a valuable outcome, too. This nourishment is important to seek, identify and keep close, especially when life begins to feel heavy, grey and dull. We can’t change the fact that we’re experiencing this third winter nor can we mute the grind and noise of the city. We can only take care of ourselves with the tools we have at hand. This feels like true, authentic self-care – which we are all worthy of.
  • The other thing I contemplated was the literal messiness of this project: the glue, scraps of paper and in this case, pencil shavings. Initially, I approached the project with a careful and clean manner, gingerly patting down the shavings to the glue. Then I realized the actual messiness is a big part of the fun and reason for collecting pencil shavings in the first place. So, with gleeful abandon and hands covered in glue and colorful dust, I felt the joy, peace, magic, and nourishment that creating – for the pure sake of creating – reveals in and for me.

All of that. From a humble pile of colored pencil shavings. We all have projects that give us this pure sense of nourishment – our own version of some glue and colored pencil shavings. What’s yours?

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My crafting station/yoga mat and art project

 

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Sculpture By The Sea

27/10/2012

Imprisoned caterpillars, a skeleton walking a balance beam and giants made of staples. Sounds like characters from a fantasy novel but these are actually some of the things you will find at the annual spring exhibition, Sculpture By The Sea, another favourite event for Sydneysiders. I am continually impressed by the focus of cultural events in Sydney, one trait that makes this city such a special place. SBTS is a treat for photographers and while I went along equipped with my little point and shoot, the exhibition presents plenty of opportunities for even the most amateur photographer (ahem.. me) to play around with. Cameras aside though, the purpose is to get outside, take in the fresh ocean breeze and enjoy art.


Vivid Sydney

10/06/2012

One of my favourite festivals here is Vivid Sydney, particularly for the amazing display of lights. This past weekend I joined the crowds in a dazzling and stunning collection of lights, sculptures and art. While I’m not brilliant with photography I managed to capture some of the magic from the night.

Customs House Vivid Sydney

Old MCA at Vivid Sydney
Bicycle image on MCA
Vivid Sydney(Above) The kids in front of the screens controlling the movements projected onto the building.

Glowing (Above) Glowing in the light from the blue egg

Chandelier on the Harbour
Bubble lights
Sydney lit up